On the Run, Slowly

Blog entry posted by Dr. Andrew Klein, Jul 6, 2011.

Here we go! Back in the saddle.

I did 7/10 of a mile on July 4th after not running since the previous Tuesday. I'm now taking the "run for fun" approach, and listening to my body rather than trying to pound out a specific distance or set of intervals. I didn't time this run, but I did map it out afterwards just to see the distance. I want to get an idea for how far, I'm just not concerned right now with how fast. I hereby vow to never again fall victim to "Too Much, Too Soon".

The process of becoming a runner has been interesting to say the least. I started back on this path with a specific goal in mind and a set training schedule. I haven't been able to stick to it due to injury but I know my lungs are stronger than they have ever been.

My lungs seemed to constantly be a limiting factor in addition to the shin splints that have plagued me since high school. I feel proud now that I can always keep up a sub-10 minute mile pace without being so gassed I have to stop. 10 minute miles aren't winning any awards, but neither is sitting on the couch.

The run I did on the 4th was all barefoot. No shoes at all! I had been out mowing the lawn and decided it was go time. My heel pain had resolved, and I was itching to get going so I took off my shoes (Yeah I was wearing shoes, but I'm not taking a whack in the toes from a string trimmer!) from mowing/edging and I took off. I had a route in mind but I decided I would just see how I was feeling.

I had a little stretching/aching in my heel but it wasn't painful so I kept going. I felt like I was going a good pace so I ignored that part and focused on my left heel to see if I could find any gait problems that were keeping this pain around. I discovered that I was landing mid to forefoot on both sides, but my left heel wasn't really touching down. Instead I was keeping it stiff and almost pushing off. I worked on it and had it pretty much under control by the time I was done. The best news is that I have no heel pain at all today!

I was a few blocks from home when I got overtaken and passed by two other runners. I wonder what they thought about what I was doing. Both had on ASICS. I doubt they gave it a second thought, but I like to think they went home and looked into barefoot running. Regardless, I'm hooked and I'm going to continue!